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The Lebanon Democrat, Tenn., Sara McManamy-Johnson column [The Lebanon Democrat, Tenn. :: ]
[August 23, 2014]

The Lebanon Democrat, Tenn., Sara McManamy-Johnson column [The Lebanon Democrat, Tenn. :: ]

(Lebanon Democrat, The (TN) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Aug. 23--Bookstores have always been dangerous territory for me.

I can walk in knowing exactly which book I'm looking for, fully intent on just running in and running out, and still walk out two hours later with a half-dozen books in tow and a half-dozen more on my wishlist.

I always maintained that I would never be lured into the whole e-reader/tablet trend -- I love the heft of an 800-page tome; the crackle of the pages as I move to the next page.

Eventually I succumbed, though, when I was introduced to the Amazon Kindle app on my smartphone.

Don't get me wrong -- I still adore my hardcopy books, and bookstores are still as dangerous as ever -- but e-books are just too cost-effective to ignore.

Amazon offers thousands of free books of all genres, and many that aren't free just cost anywhere from 99 cents to $2.99.

When you're just looking for a quick, escapist read, you can't beat it. I tended to skip over books that cost more than that -- I figured if I was going to spend more than a few bucks on a book, I wanted a tangible one.

Gradually, though, I noticed those $2.99 books start to add up until I realized I was going to have to start treating the Kindle Store with the same kid gloves that I treat Books-A-Million.

Reluctantly, I reined in my Kindle Store habit. I still had to occasionally browse through the offerings, just to torture myself a little, but I only downloaded the free offerings.

Last month, the number of those free offerings just expanded exponentially.

Full disclosure: they're not completely free, but they come awfully close.

Amazon just rolled out their Kindle Unlimited subscription service for Kindle devices or free Kindle reading apps.

For about $10 a month you can download as many books as you want for as long as you want (only catch is you can only have up to 10 books at a time).

With more than 600,000 books offered as part of the service, including favorites such as the Hunger Games trilogy, Water for Elephants and The Lord of the Rings, there should be something for just about every reader.

The program launched just about a month ago, and of course I jumped on it I think the day it rolled out. My free 30-day trial just expired, but it did its job. I'm hooked.

I'll gladly pay the $10 per month and let the book binges continue unfettered.

Sara McManamy-Johnson is the digital content director for The Lebanon Democrat and Wilson County News. Email her at or follow her on Twitter @wilsoncoreports.

___ (c)2014 The Lebanon Democrat, Tenn.

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